We all have experienced “Life Changer” Transitions in our lives :-
- Getting our first full-time job
- Getting married
- Having children
- Moving to a new place
But the BIG one is Retirement.
This is it……….. no other transition in life carries the weight of retirement. All the others can be adjusted if needs be i.e. there’s time. Not so with Retirement. It is not easy to “rewind” and fix your mistakes. It’s a “cause to pause” … and deep-think. A time to get it right. The more we discuss and explore and seek opinions etc, the more we should be able to handle this Transition satisfactorily.
Olderhood strives to be part of your information search. We hope you enjoy.
Volume 2 – Fill the day
One of my concerns as I approached retirement was how to fill the day.
I had led a fairly active business life, especially in the last 4 or 5 years. So much so, that the other things did in life were either ignored, or squeezed into an inadequate time-frame. Never seemed to have time to do everything I needed to do.
Therefore, if I didn’t have a day job to go to, then all of a sudden, the biggest chunk of my day had evaporated.
I was determined to get more things to do. But they had to be joyful things, not fillers.
The reality for most people is that retirement nowadays will constitute approximately 25% of your entire life. If you take out your childhood and schooling years, say 25% for that also, then you discover that your retirement years make up some one-third, or more of your adult life.
That’s a big number.
Therefore, if you don’t think about filling your day, then you’re going to live long years doing nothing. Perish the thought.
You should structure your retirement years as aggressively you did when you were looking for a job, even more so if you had been out of work at the time. That exercise back then, could help you in these later years. Determination.
If you have a choice about retiring, unless you are at the age when it is mandatory and thus you have no choice, then I would go as far to say that if you don’t have a retirement plan, don’t retire until you do.
Bold words I agree.
But, the notion that you just have to “get out of here, so I can relax” is a notion that will bite you if you do. I firmly believe that.
I also know many people who thought that golfing every day would be a perfect dream, only to get tired of it after a few months, and now golf once, maybe twice a week (much like they did before retirement).
The Transition is more complex than realising a dream.
You may be fortunate to not having to seek retirement work, maybe your pension and investment income is strong enough to allow you to some esoteric stuff. Hobbies. Golf. Gardening. Hiking. Travel. Crocheting.
One of the big mistakes many retired people make is to believe they need to find something to do as a one-time shot. In other words, “I need to find a pastime that will get me through to the pearly gates.” Nonsense.
How’s about finding something to do for the next 5 years, then start all over again for the ensuing 5 years, then on and on. Just as you altered course in Adulthood, so you can alter course in Olderhood. There is no prescribed formula. Do what you want.
One of my pleasures is not dashing off to the office at 8 o’clock or so every weekday (and some weekends !!). I still waken early – actually I waken much earlier now than ever I did. But now, I read the newspapers online, check the sports, work on Olderhood, send a few e-mails, coffee, shower and so forth ……… voila, it’s 9.30 and the office is still there. It doesn’t open until I show up. Power.. !!
I did open a small office when I retired. I did want the feel of a business life and I needed my own space. But, I can toddle off to the office about an hour or so later than I did my entire life.
This Transition is a joy.
I also admit that come 2/3 pm I start to wind down for the day. Not because I need to, but because I can. I earned the right to choose. So have you.
Boredom is a constant concern for many people in retirement. I can understand that. But I think it’s not so much boredom, but a guilt feeling of not been scurrying about every day, all day. “I’m wasting my life away.” Nonsense.
I firmly believe you need some planning. If you idly lay back and let the TV control your life, then you’re on the slippery slops. Don’t do that please.
If you had to plan a third of your life at age 25, what choices would you have made..?
And remember … “Clocks don’t run backwards”
“The past cannot be changed.
The future is yet in your power.
Hugh White, Author
Next week – Transition Issue 3 – Being around the House